Rice Growers Help Students

October 16, 2005--Posted at 9:45 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK-- State education officials are supporting a
unique program by rice growers to help students in 29 counties
improve their standardized test scores.

The Arkansas Rice Council distributed more than 14-thousand
workbooks to fourth graders in the Delta. The workbooks contain
information about the rice industry, and the information is
conveyed in a way intended to prepare students for the state
benchmark exam.

Students are tested on math and literacy in the exam, which is
given each spring to children in Arkansas public schools. The test
measures whether students are performing at standards set by the

Arkansas Department of Education officials said the effort by
the Rice Council is unique among private business entities. The
department says the program has its full support.

The Rice Council represents rice farmers and millers and
officials say the members wanted to help the communities where they

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)